Why the Postal Service May not be the Web’s Biggest Victim.

WTOP.com reports that in recent survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows 24 percent of adult Internet users have placed calls on the Internet, a major spike from just 8 percent four years ago.   This increase shifts calls and revenue away form landlines and wireless phones. Other interesting finding from the Pew Research Center’s report include: On any given day 5% of Internet users are going online to place phone calls, up from 2% in 2007. The percentage of American Internet users who have placed phone calls online is now about the same as the percent who were aware in 2004 that it was possible [...] Read more »

The Chalenge of Rural Postal Servcies

Sometimes a picture is all that is is needed to illustrate the problem of rationalizing retail postal servcies in rural America.   Haswell, Colorado is a town of 84 people in 2000 Kiowa County which had a population of less than 2000 The picture implies that in a town this size, it may be tough finding any business that can thrive let alone a Post Office.  The Post Office is open 4 and 1/2 hours weekdsays and three on Saturday Looking at the county web site found a second Post Office in the town of Sheridan Lake, CO, population 66.  The Post Office sign is on the first floor of what [...] Read more »

Concensus Economic Forecasts Now Lower Than Those Available When Last USPS Public Forecast Made

Here is the latest list of announcement of slower economic growth announcements: Goldman Sachs trimmed GDP growth to 2.6 percent for all of 2011 from 3.1 percent. JP Morgan  cut GDP growth to 2.5 percent annual pace in the second quarter of 2011 from the previous estimate of 3 percent.  This followed a cut in full year growth to 2.5% from 2.6%.  The small decline in full year GDP growth reflects a shift in auto sales from the 2nd quarter to later in the year once supply disruptions caused by the Japanese Earthquake are resolved. Macroeconomic Advisers has cut their GDP growth rate from 2.8% annual pace in the second quarter [...] Read more »

Could a July 2012 Shut-down Date for the USPS Be Optimistic?

The Wall Street Journal has reported that a number of private sector economic forecasters are toning down their economic forecast for the rest of 2011.   Slower economic growth is not good for the USPS as it means less revenue across all mail classes.  Slower economic growth is one of the factors that CFO Joe Corbett noted which could cause a July 2012 shut down date to happen sooner when he spoke at MTAC today. The April 2011 preliminary financial report shows losses before dealing with workers compensation or retiree healthcare payments.   First Class volumes are down at high single-digit levels, which likely means that single-piece volumes continue to drop at well [...] Read more »

The USPS Has a Shut Down Date

Twitterer, nonprofitpostal tweeted today that Joe Corbett, USPS CFO, stated that “assuming no legislation, and no worse news, the USPS starts shutting down July 2012 when it runs out of operating cash.” This makes for a rather interesting political problem for Congress.   If Congress doesn’t act, the Postal Service would shut down just before the Republican National Convention.   This timetable almost guarantees that if nothing is done the future of the Postal Service could become a hot topic for Republican candidates during later primaries, and talk radio, cable news, and the blogosphere during what could be relatively slow political news cycle in the weeks prior to the convention. Tweet Read more »

Why Mail Matters: Google Needs it To Sell On-line Advertising

 Heigi Toliver-Nigro in a post in the Digital Nirvana Newsletter provides another example as to why mail continues to thrive as an advertising media.   Google needs it to reach potential customers for its ad words and other on-line advertising services. “If print is dead,” said Andrew Davis, owner of Tippingpoint Labs in his presentation “Positioning Print for Today’s Customer” (from which these examples were taken), “then why are Google and Yahoo! using direct mail to promote Internet search?” Good point. As I sat in the presentation, I thought about the multiple direct mail pieces sitting on my own kitchen counter at home. They were from Google, with integrated cards inviting [...] Read more »

Deutsche Post’s Strategy for Mail

In response to two questions as part of an interview posted on the company’s website, Deutsche Post CEO Frank Appel provides a description of Deutsche  Post’s strategy for mail. How do you intend to achieve the stabilization of the traditional letter business? Of course, in this division we can see far-reaching structural changes that relate to electronic forms of communication. We have reacted to this with a range of e-products, such as the e-Postbrief. Such products are only one element of our strategy to offer innovative solutions in digital and traditional physical communications and, with this approach, to permanently defend our position as THE postal service for Germany. Moreover, one [...] Read more »

PostalVision 2020: Finding the Postal – Digital Horizon

has just announced its agenda.   The agenda brings together some of the clearest thinkers in both the digital and print communications world with a goal of examining how the Postal Service can thrive in a digitally-centered world.  PostalVision 2020 is dfifferent from most postal conferences as it focuses on more on the future than on either the past or how the Postal Service survives the current financial crisis.  Clearly if your business or livelihood depends on the Postal Service, then learning what the Postal Service might look like 10 years hence is critical part of your strategic planning effort.  The full agenda is as follows: PostalVision 2020 June 15, 2011 [...] Read more »

Comparing Labor Cost Proportions at the USPS, UPS, and FedEx

Update: this chart in this post has been replaced to correct a silly error.  The USPS delivers to residential addresses 6 days a week.  I know that and I know that all readers of this blog know this as well.  I would like to thank the reader who posted the comment that force me to fix this error.  In a discussion today on his Facebook page, Representative Dennis Ross fell into a common trap in comparing the labor’s portion of costs by the USPS, UPS and FedEx.  He states that: UPS (Union) – about 66% of their total operating costs are labor. FedEx (non-union) – about 45% of their total operating costs [...] Read more »